As part of a new 'Let's Talk' blog challenge, I'm turning the tables on my bridal musings and putting the spotlight on myself for a change. So who am I? Where to start? My name is Caitriona. I grew up in a beautiful cottage in the middle of a forest, the youngest of five kids. A total tomboy to begin with, climbing trees, furniture and any other height I could find, building treehouses and following my dad around while he led talks about trees, flowers and history to hundreds of people. When I grew up, I wanted to be an artist (and briefly a scientist, thanks to influence from my big sister Dee), and spent my time in school on drawing, creative writing and coming up with various money-making ideas, such as my debut publication 'InfoMag' which retailed for a whole 40 pence! When the time came to grow up, I realised that art, while it would always be a part of me, was not going to be my full time career. After getting some experience working in my college Students' Union, I was guided towards event management. A couple of hotels later and I got into wedding co-ordination - bing! Lightbulb! After many years of being a succesful venue wedding co-ordinator, all the while toiling with unsocial hours and cranky co-workers, I decided to go it alone and set up my own business as a wedding planner and wedding stationery designer. I've been blogging about weddings for two years, and I have to say I truly love what I do, as hard as it may be some days. [gallery type="rectangular" link="none" ids="473,472,471"] A typical day for me? It begins with me getting a small kiss on the forehead from my boyfriend when he leaves at an ungodly hour for work. Another hour or two hitting the snooze button, and I go downstairs to be greeted by Paddy, who I love even more every day for acting like he hasn't seen me in years. Paddy is a terrier cross dog, about 2 years old, who we adopted in early March from the Galway SPCA. I adore dogs, having grown up with them, and had been battling with the boyfriend for several years to get one of our own. Now that I was going to be working from home, he finally caved, and we became proud parents to Paddy, who loves cuddles and bringing shoes into his bed for comfort. Sometimes, when the boyfriend is at work, Paddy gets a sneaky few minutes up on the couch for extra cuddles. He goes nuts when I produce his lead each day - walkies! Today was a stunning day, bright and sunny. We live in Loughrea in east Galway, and it's a beautiful walk down by the lake. [gallery type="rectangular" link="none" ids="463,464,465"] When I get back form our walk, it's time for work. I do a lot of writing aside from this blog, so I am constantly trying to come up with new ideas. I'm working on some wedding invitation design at the moment too so my day inevitably involves threatening to throw my printer out the window. Because I'm just starting out, funds are tight and I have to watch every penny I spend, so I try to make the most out of the materials I already have. Paper is my absolute weakness, I love different textures, colours, weights, glittery and pearlescent cards...combine all of that with toolboxes full of pearls, beads, diamantes and ribbon and that's my idea of heaven. [gallery type="rectangular" link="none" columns="2" ids="164,467"] I'm also planning a really special photoshoot at the moment which will promote both my business and several other local wedding suppliers. It's all coming together now and I'm really excited to see the finished product. Planning this involves tons of emails. I have found that the online community of small businesses, both wedding and other, have been a huge support to me since starting out. It is instrumental to my business, with my blog reaching readers as far away as the USA, Japan and South Africa, enquiries for wedding planning and invitations coming from all over Ireland and support and advice from the opposite end of the world on Twitter. I try to switch off from business mode once the boyfriend gets home, but it's hard to do that when you have so much riding on succeeding. He has been very understanding about this and doesn't mind me tapping away at the keyboard until late at night - he is my greatest support.